The History of Won


The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 1. The Dawn of Great Opening

Chapter 1. The New Buddha Land in the East

3. Religions in Korea

Although there were many beliefs in the Korean peninsula from the early ancient period, Koreans traditionally worshipped the Sun from the beginning of their history. Later, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism were introduced into Korea as a result of easier access to and communication with China. Each religion influenced and shaped Korean spirituality in various periods, contributing significantly to the development of Korean culture, which in turn influenced other neighboring countries. There is also evidence of Islam`s existence in Korea.
In the modern period, in the tidal wave of Korea`s opening to other countries, the West introduced Christianity. Along with the introduction of Christianity, Tonghak (K. Eastern Learning) synthesized the teachings of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Tonghak, lamenting the decline of his country, arose against Sohak (K. Western Learning: Christianity), insisting on "Securing Country, Comforting People" and "Saving Broadly, All Lives."While Tonghak widely spread, particularly in the region of Honam (South-western part of Korea) with its various denominations, Chŭngsan`gyo arose to become one of the main religions alongside Tonghak. Similarly, many new religions, waiting for the Great Opening Era, arose to combine the traditional religious beliefs of Korea.